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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Book Review: The Void (The Tanner Sequence) by Timothy S. Johnston

This is the third Tanner Sequence novel I have read and I love the gripping intensity of these cleverly twisted mysteries.
by Timothy S. Johnston
  • File Size: 633 KB
  • Print Length: 346 pages
  • Publisher: Carina Press (March 30, 2015)
Genre: Sci Fi, Mystery
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: March 30, 2015
2403 AD
It would be easier to kill him than to trust him.
Transporting a serial killer might seem like a simple job for CCF Homicide Investigator Kyle Tanner. After spending years apprehending murderers, he's ready to hang up his pistol. Babysitting a prisoner will bring him to Alpha Centauri, where he can search for a way to escape the CCF forever.
If he makes it.
When his ship breaks down in deep space and a CCF research vessel comes to his aid, Tanner realizes he's in terrible danger: the scientists on board have blocked his distress call. And when Tanner's prisoner escapes, he begins to suspect that the proximity of the research vessel had nothing to do with luck and everything to do with the CCF's relentless reach.
Facing near-certain death by his own organization, Tanner must unravel a tangled skein of vengeance, duplicity and murder in deep space. But he's being held at the will of master puppeteers, and if he can't cut the strings, he'll dance straight to a gruesome, excruciating death….
A Tanner Sequence Novel

Kyle Tanner is a homicide detective working in space as part of the CCF (Confederate Combined Forces). He is known as an investigator who “always gets his man”. Tanner is almost always called in for the most serious murders. Of course, the CCF generally tries to keep murders quiet as they like the public to think that all is calm, quite and orderly. In truth, government dissidents are fiercely hunted and eliminated. Even Tanner and his partner, Shaheen, are becoming concerned about the excesses of the Council and thinking of ways to escape.

Tanner has captured the 'Grim Reaper' serial killer and is looking to take a break until his superior tells him that the Council is requiring him to personally deliver the prisoner for execution. Shaheen decides to come along on the trip so they won’t be apart and to perhaps make other plans. Midway between space ports their ship systems die, leaving them completely stranded in the void of space. They have no way to reach out to anyone for help so they are surprised and relieved when another ship approaches.

The 'rescuing' ship is a CCF scientific research vessel which has had similar malfunctions but had some systems survive. Their engineer has been working to get the other systems back on line. The small crew agrees to take Tanner and Shaheen on board to help although Tanner immediately notices the tension and realizes that the explanations they are being given do not really make sense. When Tanner discovers a body of a crew member that no one mentioned things quickly become even more tense as he insists on investigating. Tanner realizes why capturing the Grim Reaper was easier than expected as he begins to make connections between the scientific crew and his prisoner.

Author Timothy Johnston does a remarkable job of developing a twisted mystery with numerous suspects and lots of danger. I was pulled into the scenario very quickly and eager to keep reading to watch Tanner struggle to stay alive so he can solve another killing! There is a bit of technical, scientific detail that goes beyond my ability, or desire, to comprehend. Still it adds depth without hurting the story. Johnston does provide some graphic murder details and forensic autopsy description that some might find makes them queasy. That part I enjoy – not the gruesome parts but the science of it.

This would read fine as a stand alone but I recommend reading the books in order. I found the growth of Tanner, that has him interviewing the prisoner, interesting. The mystery is well developed with clever twisting and some final tangents that are well done even if not so surprising. I really liked the Agatha Christie style reveal too. I highly recommend this series to readers who enjoy detailed mysteries - whether earth bound or in space.

I received this ebook from the author for an honest review before release on March 30. 

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like an interesting story. Timothy S. Johnston is a new author to me and I will have to check his stories out. Thanks for your review of this story.


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